Celebrities, cosplay and comics

Thousands flock to 28th annual Motor City Comic Con

By Dylan Randolph, Editor in Chief

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Pop culture has flooded today’s society with a countless collection of fandoms all over the country. These groups stretch from the following of shows like Gilmore Girls and The Walking Dead to cult classic movies such as Star Wars. Back in the 70s and 80s it was lame to be a nerd who obsessively followed these movies. However times are changing and today’s society sees that being a “nerd” can actually be quite fun.

On the weekend of May 19, fans from all different genres flocked to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan to attend the 28th annual Motor City Comic Con. Motor City Comic Con gathers over 250 comic book creators, writers and artists, and more than fifty actors from the television and movie industry. It also features over a million comics for sale, plus collectible toys, anime, movies, pop culture crafts, and gaming merchandise. It is truly something for all fans of comics and pop culture.

Comic Con originated in San Diego, California, when a couple of comic fans came together to hold a convention celebrating the things they loved most. However, as the convention began to grow larger, they knew that Comic Con would not be able to be confined to one city or state. Sure enough, other major cities would start their very own conventions in places like New York, Chicago, and even Detroit. The Metro Detroit stop brought a massive lineup of celebrity guests who would attend to greet some of their fans of all ages.

Celebrities galore

One of the major appeals to guests visiting the convention is the appearance of some of their life-long heroes from television shows or movies they grew up watching. In the past celebrity guests have included Marvel Comic author Stan Lee, cast members of The Walking Dead, and many more.

This year did not fall short with lineup it introduced. Some of the big names at the event were former WCW Champion Sting, Michael Rooker (known for his roles as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy and Meryl in The Walking Dead), Amy Jo Johnson (most famous for her role as Kimberly Hart in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and Robin Lord Taylor (famous for his role as Oswald Cobblepot in the TV series Gotham) as well as many other guests.

The air was palpable as fans lined up around the building dressed in some of their favorite characters from some of the most popular comic stories. Harley Quinns, Jokers, and Star Wars characters flooded the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi as fans piled in to meet some of their favorite movie and TV stars while also being able to make new friends with fellow enthusiasts.

“Honestly, there’s no favorite part to all of this; meeting the actors is great, the whole environment is fun. I love making new friends with all the cosplay characters,” said Matthew Roberts from Garden City.

Panel discussions

Another highlight of the Comic Con was the chance for attendees to sit in and listen to panel discussions and ask the guests questions about behind the scenes interactions, their favorite roles, or any other question that comes to mind.

This year’s line up of panels caused quite a commotion as fans packed the rooms to capacity to hear what the guests had to say. Some of the more popular guest panels included Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn from the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Rob Schneider and John Barrowman famous for his performance as Malcolm Merlyn in the DC television series of Arrow and The Flash. All of the guests expressed how grateful they were for each and everyone one of their fans and the time they get to spend with them.

“James Gunn (Director of the Guardians of the Galaxy series) asked Sean and I to come with him to Maui. Want to know what I said to him? ‘No way, man, I’m going to the Motor City. Motor City over Maui baby!’” said Michael Rooker during the first official press conference at the convention.

Merchandise

If the celebrity guests and panel discussions weren’t enough, Comic Con brought countless vendors from all sorts to Metro Detroit. All throughout the convention there were booths set up with merchandise for sale.

Attendees could look through a collection of items ranging anywhere from swords and knives to original artwork. Prices ranged anywhere from $10 to $225, depending on the item one selected.

“The deals here are great. If you know where to look and where to find it, you can actually find some pretty cool stuff. I found an original print of “The Amazing Spiderman” for only $5 bucks a couple of years back,” said David Warrner from Royal Oak, Michigan.

Conventions like Comic Con are a unique experience for everyone who attends. It is more than just a love for comics and pop culture; it’s a bonding experience. People from all over the country drive miles away just to get the chance to spend a day there. Making new friends, meeting celebrities, and forming memories is what conventions like these are all about.

In case you missed this year’s festivities and would like a preview on what 2018 has to offer, visit motorcitycomiccon.com.

Photos by Dylan Randolph and Elizabeth Casella, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor